Women Deliver: Putting women and girls nutrition first for healthy generations
From 17 to 19 May 2016, over 5,000 delegates from around the world gathered in Copenhagen, Denmark, to participate in the 4th Women Deliver Conference. The conference, which has been held every three years since 2007, brings global attention to the health, rights and well-being of girls and women in every country. These groundbreaking global meetings provide a critical platform for funding, policy development, network building, and awareness raising around investments in girls and women.
“When we invest in girls and women, society as a whole benefits. This agenda is not a woman’s agenda, but a united agenda for humanity that involves men, women, girls and boys.”
– Mary, Crown Princess of Denmark
Accounting for 60% of the world’s malnourished people, women are disproportionately affected. As are girls, who are far too often the last to eat, the last to go to school and the last to have a say in important life decisions – such as marriage and family planning. And poor nutrition during adolescence will not only affect adult body size, but may also affect the nutritional status of any children born to mothers who were malnourished during adolescence. This is particularly important for the 16 million adolescent girls who give birth each year.
The three day event brought together high level advocates who support nutrition including incoming SUN Movement Coordinator Gerda Verburg, Chris Elias, Margaret Chan, Joyce Banda, Jim Yong Kim, Nevan Mimica and Graça Machel. One of the 14 core themes of the 2016 Women Deliver Conference was “Spotlighting Girls and Women’s Nutrition” which was complemented by three concurrent sessions focused on nutrition organised by UNICEF, Micronutrient Initiative (MI) and the Global Alliance for Improved Nutrition (GAIN).
“Improving the nutritional status of girls, adolescents, and women increases their ability to perform well at school and to become empowered in the workforce and the wider society. We in the SUN Movement know that the virtuous circle of good nutrition and better futures starts with the girl child.”
– Gerda Verburg, incoming SUN Movement Coordinator
Learn more about Women Deliver
Learn more about the 2016 Women Deliver Conference
#WomensNutritionNow is an MI led call to action, urging global leaders, policy and decision makers to improve nutrition for the more than one billion women and girls suffering from malnutrition. A breakfast event was held to build momentum in support of women and girls’ nutrition, elevate nutrition as a global priority for action, and to launch a new MI-led initiative to mobilize attention and resources for women and girls’ nutrition.
The Right Start Initiative, a ground-breaking investment platform with the aim of reaching 100 million women and girls with improved nutrition by 2020, has five strategic pillars, including high impact programs, partnerships, resource mobilization, technical assistance and advocacy.
Click here to view the short and powerful video 1 Billion Candles that accompanied the launch.
“Malnutrition is one of humanity’s longest running battles. The question all of us need to start asking is how do we bring about the beginning of the end of malnutrition? Initiatives like Right Start are a spark that moves us closer to the answer. It starts by doing much more for women and girls.”
– Joel Spicer, President and CEO of the Micronutrient Initiative.
The event and further conversation can be followed on twitter with the hashtag #WomensNutritionNow.
Wherever inequality lives, there stands a girl or woman able to turn the tide of adversity into a tidal wave of progress. Deliver for Good focuses on the whole girl and the whole woman—not just her health needs, her educational needs, or her rights. Deliver for Good sets to connect the issues that affect girls and women’s lives through an integrated approach. It is a global campaign that applies a gender lens to the Sustainable Development Goals and promotes 12 critical investments in girls and women to power progress for all. Incoming SUN Movement Coordinator Gerda Verburg joined the session devoted to the launch and signed on to the campaign.
Join the online consultation before 15 June 2016 to add your expertise, insights, and case studies.
Launch of Scaling Up Nutrition In Practice
Recognizing the critical role women play – and the correlation between gender discrimination and higher levels of acute and chronic undernutrition – The Scaling Up Nutrition Movement’s latest publication illustrates the strategies that SUN Countries are adopting to integrate gender equality into their nutrition responses. Launched at the Women Deliver Conference, SUN’s In Practice Brief, Empowering Girls and Women for Improved Nutrition: Building a Sisterhood of Success, illustrates the ways in which nutrition champions from Senegal, Sierra Leone, Tajikistan, Malawi and Zimbabwe are focusing on women and girls’ empowerment as part of national efforts to support nutrition.
Highlighting the cross-cutting nature of nutrition – and its impact on the health, education, and economic status of populations – the brief cites the benefits of investing in nutrition, particularly during the 1,000 day window of a women’s pregnancy through to her child’s second birthday. Every dollar invested in improving nutrition in this period yields a return of $16 in better health and economic productivity.